A field in Langland is a big step closer to making way for housing after Swansea councillors voted in favour of the divisive scheme.
Members of the planning committee disagreed strongly about the merits or otherwise of the 31-home application off Higher Lane, which had prompted nearly 1,900 objections.
Cllr Richard Lewis said he felt the council had, over the years, “done the Gower AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) proud”.
However, he added: “But I see this as a step in the wrong direction. I think this will be the start of the end of the Gower AONB.”
The development comprises 16 affordable properties, including six bungalows. These will be a mix of shared ownership and below market rental.
The other 15 houses are to be sold on the open market to people with a proven local connection.
Other councillors argued that Gower, and the Oystermouth ward in which the Higher Lane field is located, were very short of affordable homes.
Cllr Des Thomas, who represents West Cross, said more than 90% of people attending his surgeries needed suitable housing.
He also suggested that planning applications in the Gower and Oystermouth areas “seem to raise the same objections from existing residents”.
Residents talk about the plans for the field:
He said: “We have got to remember that all the houses in that vicinity were on green fields at one time.”
Cllr Will Evans said he could see no planning reasons why the application should be refused.
The field in question has previously been earmarked for housing under Swansea’s new local development plan. It is one of six “local needs exception sites” in Gower aimed at giving local people or those on low incomes a chance of remaining in an expensive area.